Open Access

If you have any questions about open access, please don't hesitate to contact us.


 To find funding options for your open access publication, enter the journal title or ISSN here:


Publish OA free of charge

Diamond Journals

Diamond Journals do not charge any fees for authors or readers. They are usually published without commercial publishers by researchers on institutional platforms such as Bern Open Publishing. Quality assurance with peer review.


You can republish the accepted or published version of an article on a recognized repository (e.g. BORIS or Zenodo) with a CC BY license. Inform the publisher before or at the time of submission that you are not transferring the corresponding rights (rights retention). (Rights Retention).

Funding from funding organisations


The SNSF finances journal articles from funded projects in Gold OA publications.

The SNSF also supports books and book chapters in Gold OA outside of funded projects.


Publication costs must be included in the budget at the time of submission.

Funding through UniBe

OA Fund of the University of Bern

The University of Bern supports its researchers in financing APCs and BPCs with an Open Access Fund:

  • APCs for articles in Open Access Gold: max. CHF 2,500.
  • BPCs for books and book chapters in Open Access Gold: max. CHF 8,000

Read & Publish agreements

The University of Bern has concluded Read & Publish agreements with a number of scientific publishers. Researchers from the University of Bern and Insel can publish Open Access in most of these publishers' journals at no cost to the authors.



Enter title, abstract and/or references of your article to find a suitable gold-open-access journals for your publication.

You can find Open-Access-Journals that are most suited for your publication with the following tools and databases: 

Untrustworthy journals  are known as “predatory journals”. They provide an unsatisfactory service – or none at all – in return for publication fees. Such journals are usually easy to identify: their websites are full of spelling mistakes, they promise an unrealistic turn-around from submission to publication (including peer-review) and/or they aggressively try to attract submissions. However, some predatory journals are better at hiding their shady nature. For instance, their web presence may be flawless or they may give the name of a renowned scientist as the editor, even though the latter knows nothing about it.

Predatory journals checklist

Consult this checklist to help you evaluate (OA) journals.

Coffee lectures on predatory journals and conferences

If you and your colleagues would like to learn more - the Open Science Team offers Coffee Lectures on the topic. If you are interested, contact us at

Further information

Funding agencies and institutions often require free access to publications and research data.


The SNSF supports the principle of Open Access and expects its grant recipients to make their research results publicly available for re-use in electronic form.

  • SNF projects approved as of 1.1.2023: Article immediately in open access without embargo, license: CC-BY.
  • SNF projects approved before 1.1.2023: Articles no later than six months after first publication
  • Published books an book chapters have to be open access after 12 months. 

The Open Access obligation also applies to all other publications if at least 50% of the underlying research is SNSF-funded.

Detailed information on the SNF regulations can be found here.


All Horizon2020 beneficiaries are obliged to make their peer-reviewed scientific publications available in Open Access. They are free to choose either the Green or the Gold route.

Publications in the STEM subjects must become available in Open Access no later than six months after publication; the deadline for the social sciences and humanities is 12 months. The EU offers an addendum to publishing contracts (see below), which enables authors to make their peer-reviewed articles available in Open Access green (as a post-print) within the maximum embargo.

Additionally, all funded projects are by default enrolled in the H2020 Open Data pilot project. In cases where data cannot be made openly available, it is possible to opt out partially or completely. Researchers will have to provide reasons for their decision.

Background information and a detailed explanation of the options and workflows can be found below in the PDF"H2020 ERC Open Access Compliance". There is also a PDF with a short summary. A decision tree on Open Access & Open Data rules and compliance is also available below.

The official EU rules and guidelines on "Open Access & Data Management" can be found here.

Horizon Europe und ERC Grants

Peer-reviewed publications which result from funded Horizon Europe projects must be available in open access.

  • immediately upon publication, a machine-readable, digital copy of the publisher-version or the final, peer-reviewed and accepted manuscript must be deposited and made available in a trustworthy repository for scholarly publications (for example: BORIS).
  • The publication has to be made available under the latest version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public License (CC BY) or an equal license. Monographs  and other long-form texts can use more restrivtive licenses such as CC BY-NC or CC BY-ND.
  • Open access publishing costs are only paid for peer-reviewed publications which are published in pure open access publications (no hybrid OA)

This link will take you to the Model Grant Agreement which has further details about metadata, identifiers, etc.

Further information

Concerning solutions:

Concerning the SNSF:

What are CC licenses?

As the author of a scientific text, you decide when, how, by whom and for what purpose your text can be used.

Creative-Commons (CC) licenses are standardized contracts with which you, as the author, determine how your work can be reused.

The license is valid as long as a work is protected by copyright - up to 70 years after the death of the author.

Once a license has been granted, it cannot be withdrawn. Restrictive licenses can be replaced by more open licenses.

System of CC licenses

The combination of license terms allow for a number of different CC-BY licenses.
With each of these licenses, you have the right to acknowledge authorship.


CC-BY allows unrestricted redistribution and use


CC-BY-NC (non commercial) allows only non-commercial redistribution and use.


CC-BY-ND (no derivativs) only allows redistribution - with the addition of NC only non-commercial redistribution.


Publications are marked with the appropriate icon, the reference to the license and a link, e.g.:

Icon CC-BY 4.0

Diese Publikation steht unter der Creative-Lizenz CC-BY 4.0

This work is licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 license.

This work is licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 license. To view a copy of this license, visit

Research Funding


The Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF, like many other funding agencies (cOAlition S), requires that publications resulting from projects it funds (project submission as of January 2023) be published with a CC license.

Contributions to journals


Books and book chapters

CC-BY (recommended), more restrictive licenses like CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-ND are possible

Rights Retention

The SNSF has adopted the "Rights Retention Strategy" developed by the cOAlition S. Researchers must indicate a rights retention for the post-review revised version when submitting a journal article with the following passage:

"This research was funded in whole or in part by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, a CC BY public copyright licence is applied to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission."

Do not sign over the exclusive and unlimited rights to your texts sto your publisher. Insist on a license that allows you to fulfill your obligation to your funder and your university. 

We are happy to assist you - feel free to get in touch before you sign your contract.

At the end of 2015, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) commissioned swissuniversities and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to devise a national strategy for Open Access publications. The Open Access Strategy envisions that all publicly funded publications will be freely accessible by 2024. 

Further information can be found here.

The University of Bern supports Open Access as described in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities which it signed in 2007, and declares that Open Access is a strategic objective. The Open Access Policy is in line with the Open Access Guidelines of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW); it does not interfere with the free choice of publication media or with academic freedom. The University has approved the following guidelines:

  1. The University of Bern requires its researchers to deposit a full version of all peer-reviewed and published academic work and the corresponding bibliographical information in the institutional repository of the University of Bern. This makes the academic work publicly available through Open Access, provided that there are no legal obstacles.
  2. The University of Bern encourages its researchers to publish their research results in Open Access journals, where appropriate journals exist.
  3. As of the 2014 reporting year, research evaluation and academic reports at the University of Bern are supported by the institutional repository of the University of Bern.

The University of Bern supports the implementation of these guidelines by operating an institutional repository which allows the University’s researchers to deposit their publications and the corresponding metadata.

Clarifications on practical implementation:

  • In relation to publishers, researchers retain the right to make their publications publicly accessible via the University of Bern repository – after the expiry of any applicable embargo period.
  • If this option is not available, the bibliographical information of the publications is deposited together with a full version of the text, which is protected from public access in the repository. 

In accordance with the LERU petition and the DORA initiative, Bern University Library supports alternative, non-profit Open Access initiatives.

Bern University Library currently supports the following initiatives:

Bern University Library is a member of:

If you know of an OA initiative that should be supported contact us.


Upcoming events on the topic of Open Access can be found on our main page or under "Services".

General information  

  • is a central resource for all things Open Access (OA). It covers a wide range of disciplines and caters to many target groups.

Finding open access content 

  • Base is a search engine specialized in finding scholarly web-documents, particularly full texts in OA. The search engine is maintained according to scientific standards and those set by the OA-community.  
  • CORE is a meta-search engine that aims at the searchability of all OA-materials from repositories and journals worldwide. Both metadata and content can also be accessed via an application programming interface (API).
  • Open Knowledge Maps is a non-commercial graphic explorer that offers a fast overview of any given research topic and shows central concepts and related discussions. It builds on the metadata from the search engines BASE and PubMed. 
  • Directory of Open Access Books is an international database for OA books in all disciplines. All works are peer-reviewed. DOAB features big publishing houses such as Springer, Taylor & Francis, or De Gruyter as well as smaller publishing houses and university presses.  
  • PubMedCetral is a full-text repository for medical, biomedical and other life-science research. 
  • DART Europe is a search portal to find European dissertations. The University of Bern's OA dissertations on BORISTheses are also indexed. 
  • On Swisscovery Universität and PH Bern we ingest OA content from the following sources:

    • BORIS
    • BORIS Thesis
    • BOP Serials
    • DOAB
    • DOAJ
    • ROAD
    • OApen
    • Unpaywall

Where and how can I publish in OA?  

  • Directory of Open Access Journals is a central index of OA-Journals in all disciplines. In order to get listed, journals undergo a very strict review process. This is an ideal entry-point to find a suitable OA-Journal. Try the "Browse Subjects" function! 
  • Sherpa/Romeo is an aggregator collecting and analyzing OA information of journal publishers worldwide. The information is then published for each journal in a short summary that tells users everything they need to know about embargo periods, licenses and self-archiving options of any given journal.
  • ThinkCheckSubmit helps researchers find trustworthy journals and decide what to do about predatory publishers. The website offers checklists and other instruments. 

Browser extensions for quick OA Access  

These extensions indicate whether an article a user is viewing online is available in OA: OA Button and Unpaywall for Chrome und Firefox, Open Access Helper for Safarii.